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ADI MICROSCA G710

 

STANDFIRST

ADI’s latest 17-incher is equipped with a super flat FD Trinitron. Rick Maybury checks to see whether the MicroScan G710 is on the level…

 

COPY

We may not like it but we can understand the logic and economics of manufacturers supplying instruction manuals for software and peripherals only on CD-ROM. There are several exceptions where it should definitely never happen; CD-ROM drives are an obvious example, the other, which we’ve just discovered, is monitors.  To be fair the ADI MicroScan G710 does come with a leaflet that shows where the plugs go on the back panel, but all of the setup information, and more importantly the troubleshooting guide are on the CD-ROM, which is really helpful if you’re faced with a blank screen! To add insult to injury it’s not even a very good CD-ROM, it takes ages to load, the unavoidable opening sequence is accompanied by a cheesy tune, a Dalek voice and someone singing the ADI song…

 

Incidentally, Mac owners will be amused to know that half of the contents of the CD-ROM are unavailable to them, like the freebie Treasure Chest album utility, set-up details for the USB option, links to ADI’s web site and multimedia marketing puff moreover the instructions are only viewable with a suitable web browser.

 

Okay, gripe over, the MicroScan G710 is actually a rather agreeable 17-inch monitor and it is based on one of Sony’s most excellent FD Triniton tubes. They’re the ones with the super flat screen, and boy, it is flat! Flat is good, it really cuts down on the reflections, especially if you’re working with a lot of bright overhead lighting or close to a window. The G710 is well qualified for demanding applications like CAD/CAM and of course desktop video production. It has a maximum resolution of 1600 x 1200, horizontal and vertical scanning frequencies that cover all commonly used PC and Mac display modes and a dot pitch of just 0.24mm. The latter is a good sign for video since in theory it means sharper, more detailed images and more accurate colour rendition.

 

So, we’re off to a pretty good start. It gets better when you see the price, £280 or thereabouts is not an unreasonable sum for a 17-inch monitor, especially one with a FD Trinitron tube. There are one or two other little extras worth mentioning, the G710 has a built in microphone on the top of the screen surround, and as we mentioned earlier there’s an optional USB hub with one upstream and 4 downstream, ports.

 

The standard compliment of sockets includes a 15-pin D-Sub for the video, a 3-pin mains socket, a minijack for the microphone connection to the PC (a patch cable is supplied) an labelled mini DIN connector, which we presume is for the USB hub and a hidden connector behind a little panel, which we presume is for diagnostics or some such. The front is equally sparse, there’s a pair of thumbwheels for brightness and contrast beneath the screen surround, and three buttons that call up and make selection on the menu-driven on-screen display. This is unusually comprehensive, covering all of the usual things, like image size, and geometry, plus there are manual and preset colour controls (3 user settings) and some unusual linearly controls for fine-tuning the picture. It’s good to have so many options but moving around all of the menus is a slow business, fortunately it’s not something you should have to do very often.

 

PERFORMANCE

After the customary 15-minute warm up the G710 was treated to the full might of our test patterns, video sequences and stability checks. There were no problems whatsoever with image resolution, colour fidelity, geometry convergence or focus, in short image quality on graphics or video is excellent and like all Trinitrons before it images have an almost 3D quality but… Well, there had to be at least one. The suspension wire shadows  -- common to all Trinitron tubes -- show up quite clearly on bright desktop displays. They’re supposed to stop the aperture grille from vibrating, in the case of our sample they didn’t do very well and a gentle tap on the side of the monitor creates all kinds of interesting and colourful patterns that take several seconds to subside. Bear that in mind if you work in an environment where your desk is likely to be knocked or subject to vibration. There was some slight ballooning on our power regulation checks, it was just about okay, but it is unusual these days. Lastly, and this was another surprise; there was some very slight smearing on sharp black white transitions. Again it wasn’t enough to be concerned about and it only showed up on test patterns but it’s not something we’re use to seeing very often.

 

SUMMARY

Basically a good monitor with one or two slightly rough edges that we’re prepared to overlook because they’re almost impossible to see in normal use, the FD Trinitron image quality is so good and the price is quite reasonable.

 

Make/model

ADI MICROSCA G710

 

How Much?                  

£280 (inc. VAT)

 

Tube size                     

17-inch FD Trinitron

 

Visible display area     

326 x 241 mm

 

Dot Pitch                      

0.24 mm

 

Max Resolution 

1600 x 1200 pixels

 

Synch range     

Horizontal: 30 to 96KHz

Vertical: 50 to 160Hz

 

Dimensions                  

439 x 441 x 441mm

 

Weight             

21kg

 

ADI UK Systems Ltd, telephone  020 8327 1900 www.adimicroscan.com

 

CV RATINGS

Features                       ****

Performance                  ****

Ease of use                   ***

Value for money            ****

Overall Rating  92%

 

 

 

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ã R. Maybury 2000 2803

 

 


 

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